Decoding the ‘Constitutions’
Gerry Clarke SJ is conducting a series of workshops on St Ignatius’ Constitutions for the Jesuit Order. Participants include Jesuits from Ireland, Britain, and across Europe, and workshops are also being held for other religious congregations that use the Ignatian Constitutions as their foundational model.
In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, Gerry Clarke explains how the workshops are the fruit of Brian O’Leary SJ’s book Unlocking a Treasure, published recently to mark the 500th anniversary of when Ignatius the soldier was injured by a cannonball in the Battle of Pamplona.
Brian O’Leary says that studying the Constitutions is on most Jesuits’ ‘bucket list’ but they often don’t relish the task. Gerry Clarke notes that Brian’s book is an invaluable tool in making that task a meaningful and enriching one. His book, he says, unlocks the power and wisdom of Ignatius’ thinking as the saint tries to capture the spirit of the religious order he was founding.
In the course of the interview, Gerry Clarke tells how the workshops are conducted. He outlines their content, based on Brian O’Leary’s ‘four keys to the Constitituions‘. And he explains the renewed energy and vision that they are engendering in participants, including himself.
The workshops are part of the Ignatius 500 celebrations. They began in late 2021 and three more are planned to span from late April until June 2022.
The photo is a picture of the first edition of the Constitutions.